Saturday, February 14, 2004

Old new review

Something like that. I've just finished rereading all of Alan Moores Saga of the Swamp Thing trade, and enjoyed it even more the second time around. For those who haven't read it (why?) it contains two stories or "arcs", both unique and excellent in their own right, and it's almost impossible to actually pick the better of the two. The first is somewhat a "retelling" of Swamp Things origins, with Moore adding his own spin on it, which shocked the hell out of me the first time I actually read it. As old as it is it still remains one of the best, most original ideas I've ever seen in a comic book, at least as far as "super heroes" go. The ensuing battle with the Floronic Man isn't exactly spectacular, but I don't think it was meant to be. Yes there are punches, but in the end the enemy isn't beaten by might, he's beaten by reasoning and his own overzealousness. At least, that's my take on it. Moore's involvement of the Justice League in the story was minimal, and yet his take on the characters is excellent, especially Superman. Now, the second story is just as great, but is more along the lines of a traditional horror book, and that's not a bad thing at all. What shines in the second arc is Moores writing of the Demon, Etrigan. I've never been a big fan, but Moore writes him better in this appearance than probably anyone has since. Like the Justice League, his appearance is played down a bit (tho he has more screen time than they did) so that the true stars of the book actually seem like just that. The story itself is wonderful, a demon that feeds on fear was released accidentally by a boys parents when the were playing with a ouija board. Their child is put in an institution when the demon kills them, and somehow the demon follows, feeding off the other children's fears. It's much better than I make it sound, trust me. While I'll probably read through it again, it may not be for quite sometime. If it's been awhile since anyone out there has picked it up, I suggest you do so, and remember just how great some of those old comics are. This is and will forever be one of the best trades ever published, and contains some of the best work by a true master of the medium. The one thing I didn't touch on was the artwork, but anyone who reads the first fifteen or so pages will quickly realize that Bissette is just amazing, capturing the essence of Moore's tales brilliantly. I could talk about this book for hours...but I won't.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.


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